This piece originally appeared in Lauren O’Neal’s email newsletter Activism for Non-Activists. It is reprinted here with permission.
Here are six actions to take regarding the neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend.
1. Donate to one or more of the following:
- C-ville Victim Relief GoFundMe for the medical and other expenses of the victims of James Alex Fields, who killed Heather Heyer and injured around 20 others with his car
- GoFundMe for the medical expenses of Dre Harris, the black man brutally beaten by white supremacists
- the Charlottesville chapter of the NAACP
- the Charlottesville chapter of Black Lives Matter
- the Charlottesville chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)
- IMPACT Cville (an interfaith pro–social justice org)
2. Attend any anti-racist/solidarity rallies in your area. To find them, check Indivisible’s website, or Google “Charlottesville solidarity rally [your city].”
3. Be ready to protest any upcoming neo-Nazi/white-supremacist/alt-right rallies in your area. Check the websites of organizations like Indivisible, SURJ, and the DSA for information on counterprotests.
4. Donate to and/or volunteer with the Virginia chapter of Flippable. The registration deadline for Virginia state elections is coming up in October(as in, just a couple months from now). Registering more voters is not just a way to flip seats blue and elect better politicians who can achieve concrete progressive goals. It also directly combats the Republican strategy of disenfranchising voters, especially voters of color. Republicans spend so much time, money, and effort suppressing the vote because they know voting is a powerful tool. Let’s make sure the people of Virginia actually have the right to use that tool, the way they’re supposed to in a democracy.
5. Do not let yourself go into denial about what is happening. It’s very easy right now to look at groups of white supremacists marching with Nazi flags, giving Nazi salutes, and chanting Nazi slogans, and just mentally check out because it’s too much to deal with and it doesn’t directly affect you. It’s very easy to see Trump, who has viciously insultedvirtually every other group and individual imaginable, refuse to outright condemn neo-Nazi violence, and think, “There’s no way the president of the United States could really be pro-Nazi, is there?” Please don’t, especially if you’re white. When you go into denial and say things like, “Oh, they don’t really mean it, they’re just trying to shock people” or “These people are on the fringes, they can’t do that much damage,” you’re doing exactly what the white supremacists want. (In fact, here’s a screenshot of them explicitly saying so.)
6. Be very clear, in your social circles and on social media, that you consider being a white supremacist shameful, unacceptable, and inexcusable. Say loud and proud that you’re against white supremacy, neo-Nazis, the KKK, and the alt-right. Say that it’s shameful Trump won’t condemn them. Memorialize and honor Heather Heyer, who gave her life protesting them. Per the aforementioned screenshot, neo-Nazis deliberately try to keep their real goals secret in order not to scare normal people away. They’re afraid of social opinion turning against them. So turn social opinion against them.